Silvia Venturini Fendi has stepped out into the spotlight. The Fendi men's autumn/winter 2021 runway presentation was, in many ways, a reintroduction to Venturini Fendi who had been taking sole creative reins at Fendi since the passing of Karl Lagerfeld. The co-ed spring/summer 2021 show was her last womenswear collection before passing the baton over to Kim Jones.
Yet, the effects of that much-acclaimed spring/summer 2021 menswear collection is still being felt as the collection is now making its way into the boutiques. It did seem, with this latest outing, that Venturini Fendi is now more focused than ever in ensuring that Fendi's menswear collections will be able to stand on its own.
The setting was a stark contrast to the previous show—neon lights that resembled doorways were arranged in a maze-like manner to the pulsating dance-pop beats of the soundtrack by Not Waving. And if you're unfamiliar with the voice featured in the track, that's Venturini Fendi talking about the 'new normal' and looking at life in different ways.
Look and feel: Typical of Fendi menswear, the autumn/winter 2021 collection was a continuation of reworking menswear classics but with an emphasis on adapting them for new pandemic-driven lifestyles (we're predicting this to be a big trend for the season). As a whole, the collection is hopeful—like the archetypal 'light at the end of the tunnel' symbolisms one would expect as the world is still grappling from a sense of uncertainty and helplessness.
While there are healthy doses of blacks and neutrals, they're almost always trimmed or accented with pops of bright hues. Artist Noel Fielding (you may recognise him as one of the co-hosts of The Great British Bake Off) added to the optimism with his interpretations of the Fendi logos as well as a selection of psychedelic artworks.
The collection ended with a quintet of monochromatic looks bathed in corresponding neon lights for extra dramatic effect. Things will get better if Fendi has anything to do with it.
Favourite looks: Right off the bat, looks 11 and 15 stole the show with finely knitted ensembles featuring overalls layered over a colour-matched jumper (with the addition of a shearling overcoat on look 15). The intricacy of those looks were quite a sight. There were also cable-knit jumpers attached with sleeves as scarves (looks 1, 8 and 14) that at first glance, looked quite bonkers but moved beautifully when in motion. And lastly, those puffer jackets that ended the show, especially the ones worn with matching quilted bottoms; sublime.
Favourite accessories: If you're still on the nano bag trend, Fendi's autumn/winter 2021 collection offered up a couple of splendid options in the form of shrunken Baguettes (looks 2 and 3). But the stars were the Baguette satchels (looks 6, 20 and 27) that retained the iconic look of the original but reshaped so that they're more square and constructed with more width for added room.